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December 3, 2021

Get Ready for This Weekend’s King Tides

This weekend the planets are aligning to give the Bay Area and the California coastline two to three days of king tides. The California King Tides Project describes the phenomenon as “very high tides, caused when there is alignment of the gravitational pull between sun, moon, and Earth.” Usually these “very high tides” will be around one to two feet higher than normal high tides. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider how close we live to the waterline, even a few extra inches can have enormous repercussions. It’s therefore no surprise that everyone is talking about the tides.

In San Francisco, the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park has advised that it will close access to its ships for the high tide periods. In Marin, the fire department has issued warnings on social media that the king tides could cause flooding and road closures, although, anyone who travels between Sausalito and Mill Valley will know that ‘could’ is actually ‘will’.

King tides
Those willing to drive through the flooded roads to launch from Clipper Yacht Harbor in Sausalito this morning will still find themselves stymied by the tide.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Monica

But it’s not all bad. California King Tides Project uses these tide events as an opportunity to document and study the effects of rising sea levels. And you can help. The organization is asking people to photograph the high tides in their area to help visualize the future waterlines and landscapes.

To learn more and to get involved, go to California King Tides Project.

The king tides are expected across this weekend, and again in January 2022, on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Get the latest California tide information here.

Now is probably a good time to go check your lines!

Should a Woman Be Required?

The US Match Racing Championships Committee is considering a proposal to require “at least one female on each team in the 2022 US Match Racing Championship (USMRC) and its Qualifiers.”

The committee would love to hear your opinion on their proposal. Please submit the survey no later than Sunday, December 5, 2021. The USMRCC organizes the Open, Women’s and Youth match racing qualifiers and national championships. The committee will vote on this proposal on Tuesday, December 7.

Match racing in Catalina 37
Peter Holz’s team en route to winning the 2021 US Match Racing Championship in Long Beach on the first weekend in October.
© 2021 Christine Delabre

A similar but different proposal was made in 2016. It wasn’t implemented at that time based in part on survey results — your responses do carry influence. You can write in comments at the end of the brief survey.

The current proposal aligns with the global effort to increase opportunities for women to compete at the highest levels of the sport, including the Olympics and the Volvo Ocean Race. The Intercollegiate Match Racing Championship currently requires at least one female be on each team, as do the US Youth Match Racing Championship (USYMRC) and the Youth Match Racing World Championship.

A Cavalcade of Lighted Boat Parades Begins This Weekend

In the Bay and Delta Region on December 4

The Lighted Boat Parade on the Estuary’s theme will be Deck the Hulls. Staging will be on the Alameda side between the public pier at Fortman Marina and the Wind River buildings. The parade will start at dark and proceed west past Encinal and Oakland Yacht Clubs, where the judging happens. The route passes Pasta Pelican Restaurant before turning across the Estuary to Jack London Square, east to the Grand Marina, and back to the staging area. The loop will repeat for latecomers. See

Ketch22 in lighted boat parade
Tom Marlow’s OYC-based Ketch22 was a winner in 2017’s Lighted Boat Parade on the Estuary.
© 2021 Fred Fago

Suisun City Harbor Plaza will play host to Christmas on the Waterfront, 2-8 p.m. There you’ll find a Christmas market, live music, a lighted boat parade, pictures with Santa, tree lighting, fireworks, ice skating and more. (707) 421-7201.

The Rio Vista Chamber of Commerce Holiday Celebration will culminate in a lighted boat parade on the Sacramento River starting at 6 p.m.

On the San Joaquin River, the Lynn Hahn Memorial Delta Reflections Lighted Boat Parade will begin at 5 p.m. The parade will gather at Windmill Cove and proceed upriver to downtown Stockton. For info, see

December 11

Coyote Point’s Lighted Boat Parade in San Mateo will begin at 5:30 p.m. Holiday treats, music, and special guests arriving by boat to Coyote Point YC will follow the parade. For info, call Cathy at (650) 464-6265.

Sausalito’s Winterfest lighted boat parade will begin at 6 p.m. Fireworks will follow.

Richmond Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Richmond Harbor Entrance Channel Marker G”5″ and proceed east in Point Potrero Reach to Marker 15 at Foss Pier, then cruise around Brickyard Cove and RYC’s harbor. For info, contact Anne Thomas.

Oxbow Marina and Marina West YC will have a Christmas Lighted Boat Parade, followed by snacks at the marina office. Boats will gather at the guest dock at 5 p.m. for a skippers’ meeting then proceed up Georgiana Slough.

Discovery Bay YC’s Lighted Boat Parade will begin at 5 p.m. with the theme Christmas in Paradise. Entry is open to members and non-members.

December 12

The San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade will proceed up the Canal starting at 6 p.m.

December 17

St. Francis YC’s Decorated Boat Parade in San Francisco will travel between Crissy Field and the Marina Green.

Lighted Boat Parade Safety Tips

The Water Sports Foundation suggests six safety tips for winter/nighttime on-the-water parades:

  1. Wear Your Life Jacket. Drowning is the cause of death in 79% of fatal boating accidents where the cause of death was known; 86% of those drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.
  2. Gear Up. Make sure all required boating safety gear is ready, functional and easily accessible. Always have a VHF radio on hand and know how to use it properly.
  3. Dress for Success. Choose the right type of attire for local weather conditions and be prepared in case conditions change. Children lose body heat faster than adults, so bring extra layers of clothing in a waterproof dry bag, along with towels and blankets in case they are needed.
  4. Designate a Sober Skipper. Caution crew to avoid or minimize alcohol consumption to keep their wits about them while underway and on board.
  5. Learn the Parade Route in Advance. Run your boat through the course in the daylight to spot any obstacles or challenges that may be harder to see with limited visibility.
  6. Charge Your Batteries. Consider using LED decorative lights, which use less electrical power, or a longer-lasting lithium-ion battery that is separate from your engine’s starting battery.

Read more here.


Pier 39 in San Francisco is having tree lighting ceremonies, 5-10 p.m., featuring a light show with synchronized music every half hour. The shows continue nightly through January 9.

Doubtless many more events will be happening throughout the region. Feel free to add your favorite in the comments section below!

Bay Area Sailors #OptSailing and Outdoors for Blue Friday

Winter sailing is awesome. And long weekends make it even better. Last week’s four-day Thanksgiving break gave Americans the opportunity to be grateful before turning to the country’s most self-indulgent holiday, Black Friday. Though that’s not true for all. REI was a trendsetter when it closed for Black Friday and suggested members #optoutside. And many sailors, in the warmer climes, decided to join in and #optsailing. Black Friday suddenly became Blue Friday. For the Bay Area the returning drought fears also meant four perfect days for sailing.

There were lots of boats out over the four-day weekend enjoying flat water, gentle breezes and warm air. We sailed on Thursday and Sunday. The Sunday sail was a complete miscalculation when the turkey stuffing went to our head and we got to the boat thinking we were joining a CYC club race, only to find out it had happened the day before. As it turned out there wasn’t enough breeze to get everyone around the course to finish anyway, and we were lucky to have a fine day for sailing.

Golden Gate Bridge
The nice weather meant it was busy on the Pacific side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Starbuck and Jarlen
It’s all backward in the winter. Breezes shift such that Starbuck and Jarlen were tacking upwind from the Golden Gate toward Richmond.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / JOhn
Water Witch
The Egleston family’s always-beautiful Water Witch was out for a sail.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Peter Krebs and Ella Cook
We took our daughter’s friends, Peter Krebs and Ella Cook, out to show them the ropes, the underside of the Bridge, and the Bay. We think they liked it.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John
Royal Blueness
Royal Blueness was beating to weather while the crowds sailed by just knockin’ about on the Bay.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

In addition to some random sailboats enjoying Clipper Cove on their own, a group of two powerboats and four sailboats rafted up together to share Thanksgiving leftovers. From west to east (or port to starboard) they were: Steve Hocking’s classic Dorsett runabout High Voltage from Sausalito; Anna Alderkamp and Thijs Kaper’s Santana 22 Byte Size, Treasure Island; Fred Paxton’s Cloudburst 25 Ranger, a salmon fishing boat that is also used as a race committee boat for Richmond Yacht Club; the Farallone Clippers Mistress II and Hana; and the Quanci family’s RYC-based Cal 40 Green Buffalo. Clipper Cove makes a good destination for boats coming from the East Bay and Marin to rendezvous, and the protection from wakes makes for safe and pleasant rafting.

Ali and Richard aboard Mistress II with Brian and Donna of Hana, and Anna of Byte Size and her kids Tessa and Curtis aboard Hana.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris
Green Buffalo in Clipper Cove
Green Buffalo backs up to Hana while paying out the anchor line. Mistress II was the first boat on the scene and thus had the other anchor down.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

We did take a break from the Bay to take a hike in the hills so we could get a better view of the Bay and ocean. Sure enough, one of our favorite landmarks put on a stunning performance with a sunlit view of the Farallon Islands.

Farallone Islands
The Farallon Islands looking very inviting.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The sailing weather has been mighty fine while the ski areas tap their fingers and perform all the ritual snow dances. #optsailing is good any day of the year and, for all the folks who’ve bought first-time boats this year, it’s good to remember sailing can be kinder on the Bay in the winter. Take advantage of it.

If you’re lucky, any Friday can be a Blue Friday.
© 2021 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

If you have some shots of your Blue Friday, add them to our Sailagram collection by emailing them to [email protected].

By the way, you can #optSailing any weekend (or weekday). So if you forgot to take photos over Thanksgiving, go sailing again this weekend and keep that shutter clicking.

Sailagram: A Snapshot of November Sailing

November treated a lot of sailors to some beautiful sailing conditions. This month’s Sailagram is full of happy, smiling sailors.

Did you happen to get your sails up? Did you send your photos to be included in this month’s Sailagram? If not, there is always next month. You can be included anytime you sail just by emailing your photos to [email protected]. You might just end up being featured in the magazine or our social media as well.

Sailing for Your Ears
Listen in as Nicki and Kayleen talk about merging your passions for sailing and snowboarding, learning the engine and electrical system of your boat, cultivating a community around shared passions, finding a sailing mentor, and living aboard.